The Tube Fly


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tube fly tying

salmon tube flies

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HMH Tube Fly Tool



The Tube Fly

Tying tube flies focusing particularly on fly tying on Needle Tubes, ultra slim stainless steel tube fly tubes developed for salmon, steelhead and sea trout fly fishing

For more than a century, there have been countless innovations in the world of fly fishing and fly tying, not least in the design of flies and lures for salmon fishing. Many new and varied patterns and designs of fly have been created to fish for salmon, both Pacific and Atlantic, and steelhead in North America, together with those intended for salmon and sea trout fishing in Europe, particularly in the British Isles, in Russia and in Scandinavia. Whether his chosen quarry is the sea-trout, steelhead or salmon, the modern fly fisherman has a great many weapons at his disposal, ranging from the more traditional flies dressed on single, double or treble hooks, short or long in the shank, barbed or barbless; snake flies and needle flies; bottle tubes, turbo discs and cone heads.

In fly fishing as in other fields, often the best ideas are the simplest. For those of us who fish for sea trout and salmon, the tube fly must surely rank among the very best of fly fishing innovations. The basic idea - a bunch of hair whipped on to a plastic or metal tube with a hook trailing behind - is so simple and effective that it may seem hard to improve upon, yet generations of salmon and sea trout fishermen have, over more than half a century, added their own small refinements and innovations - varying the materials used, from the lightest of plastic to the heavier aluminium, copper and brass, in an effort to vary the weight of the fly and the depth at which it will fish; inserting nylon liners to protect the nylon leader from the sharp metal tube ends; adding extensions of silicone rubber to the rear of the tube to provide a secure, yet flexible, hold on the hook (a great advantage of the tube fly is its durability, as the hook, whether single, double or treble, can be easily replaced when damaged); adding weight at the front end in the form of brass or tungsten beads or cone heads in an effort to create a more balanced lure; and, of course, what fly tyer can resist the temptation to combine a unique blend of feather, fur and floss to create his own uniquely special fly.

Tube Flies

Sunburst Cascade Tube Fly

Bucktail Tube Fly

Magus Tube Fly

Orange Claret Tube Fly
Furnace Shrimp Tube Fly Spring Green Tube Fly

The tube fly has found its way, over the years, into the fly boxes of many salmon fishers. For early and late season fly fishing, many salmon fishermen's boxes will include a range of heavy tubes flies, dressed on brass and copper tubes of varying lengths, along with flies incorporating cone heads of brass or tungsten, often fished off high density lines, to get the fly down quickly to a fishable depth, while the smallest of plastic tube flies fished on a floating line in shrunken highland streams has been the downfall of many a summer grilse. The tube fly then has proven to be a most versatile fishing lure, for a variety of species and situations. Initially, though, it was in the possibilities presented by the tube fly as a lure, not so much for salmon, but for summer sea trout that my main interest lay, an interest keenly shared by the late Dave Wallbridge, with whom I spent much of the last decade collaborating in the development of fine stainless steel tube flies for night sea trout fishing. Our efforts would lead ultimately to the development of the ultra slim stainless steel Needle Tube .


Needle Tubes

Tube Fly Tying

Needle Tubes

Tube Fly Tying